Improved cleaning of contaminated vaccum pump components using Ultrakleen™ and Jetkleen™

Two new items which have been welcomed to the West Technology factory are a Jetkleen semi-automatic aqueous parts washer and an Ultrakleen ultrasonic cleaning machine from Safetykleen. Together they have improved their Compliance, Quality & Production. West Technology are now in full control of their parts cleaning, with no more reliance on 3rd parties and a faster turn-around for their customers.

West TechnologyChallenge

West Technology are a specialist vacuum engineering company providing custom made medium and high vacuum systems, with an unrivalled reputation for innovative design and manufacture of a broad range of custom vacuum systems.

West Technology are UK agents/distributors for leading vacuum equipment manufacturers including Pfeiffer Vacuum, Busch Vacuum, Mil's France and MKS Instruments. The demand for these systems comes from a wide range of industrial and academic customers, including many blue chip companies and world-leading universities.

Their Vacuum Pump Service department are an organised and well run department, maintaining customer equipment to ensure long service life and reliability. They are continually investing in ways to improve the efficiency and quality of their servicing for the benefit of their customers.

West Technology often sees pumps come through the door covered in heavy oil, grease and dirt. Their existing cleaning processes included cleaning smaller components manually, with heavier components placed in automatic machine, followed by a further manual process to clean any missed areas. Any staining on the products would be addressed with a soak in a brake cleaner chemical and scrub with Scotchbrite. For the worst cases of components with stubborn residue then these would have to be shot blasted.

Although the required cleaning quality was achieved, the processes involved lots of downtime, and health and safety concerns using flammable liquids with brake cleaner manually.

The maintenance team called in specialists from Safetykleen’s Bristol branch to look at alternative solutions that could be managed fully in-house, further improving the productivity and compliance of their processes.

UltrakleenSolution

We split the requirement into two processes. Rotors, Stators, casing and many more pump parts that arrive heavily stained with carbonated deposits are now cleaned in an Ultrakleen™ machine. The Ultrakleen cleans using ultrasonically generated pressure waves which agitate the cleaning fluid at very high velocity to cause micro-explosions knows as cavitations. These explosions create a scrubbing action against any solid surface in contact with the fluid, rapidly removing soiling and contaminants.

West Technology Jetkleen Grease and dirt are removed from other small to medium sized components using a Jetkleen™ machine. With its high pressure pump and targeted spray gun delivery, components are cleaned quickly and effectively. It cleans a wide range of materials which often need to be removed from customer’s pumps before inspection: pumps can now be cleaned and inspected quickly.

Results

Safetykleen’s service is supported by specialist chemistry and a fully serviced machine program. All parts are now cleaned in-house with non-hazardous, VOC-free pH neutral cleaning fluids, helping to improve the working environment.

We have improved their Compliance, Quality & Production. They are in full control of their parts cleaning, with no more reliance on 3rd parties. Also no further use of solvents and minimum PPE is required whilst using these aqueous automatic and semi-automatic parts washers.

The Service Manager Nick Abraham was open to new ideas of how Safetykleen can improve on Productivity, Quality & Compliance: “These two new purchases will be a great asset to the West Technology Vacuum Service department, improving lead times and cutting down labour time which will then reduce costs for the customer”.